Instagram is so popular nowadays that it’s hard to remember what we used to do without it. We had to pick up the phone and actually call our friends and family to find out what they’re up to—weird right? It goes without saying that Instagram is an amazing platform for connecting with people and sharing content. It seems like literally everyone uses Instagram. While this isn’t quite the case, there are over 1 billion active users on the site; liking, following, and sharing everything under the sun.
One of the best things about Instagram is that anyone can create an account for free. Celebrities, grandparents, businesses, teachers-- you name it, and there is probably an Instagram account for it. Better still, users aren’t just limited to one account, they can have two, three, or five! In fact, you can have up to five accounts on a single device. But if you have say, a smartphone and a tablet, you can easily manage 10 accounts.
While this kind of accessibility is part of what makes Instagram so great, it also leaves room for phishing, spam, and fake accounts. There are even accounts out there that claim to be people, like celebrities, but have no relation to that person at all; albeit an extremely devoted fan. This may seem harmless, but fake accounts can be detrimental for businesses and celebrities who are trying to stay in control of their image and their brand.
Luckily, Instagram took notice of this problem and instituted its verification process. Once users are approved, a small blue check-mark badge appears next to the user’s name. This badge lets everyone know that the account is legit, and the person or business is who they say they are. “More importantly, it's a status symbol. The blue emblem can help people gain legitimacy in the business of influencer marketing and bestows some credibility within Instagram's community” says Mashable writer, Kerry Flynn. “It is Instagram's velvet rope.”
The verification process is not new to social media. Platforms like Twitter and Facebook have already implemented verification processes to help their users know whose content they are actually viewing. Facebook even requires certain accounts be verified if they want to promote posts that are considered of “political or national importance”.
While Facebook’s measures were in response to a changing political influence, Instagram implemented its verification process as a piece of its three-part measure to increase site security. Aside from the verification process, Instagram implemented 2-part authenticated sign-in alongside requiring additional information about accounts such as, in which country they were created.
According to Mike Krieger, Instagram co-founder and chief technology officer, “[These] tools will help make Instagram safer and stop bad actors before they cause harm."
Why you want the Instagram verification badge
If you already have a lot of followers and engagement, you might be wondering why you even need to get an Instagram verified badge. Maybe you’re a new business and have other things to worry about, or you don’t see the point in the process if all it gets you is the little blue check mark next to your name. Believe it or not, there are a lot of great reasons for seeking out the verification badge for Instagram.
We’ve already discussed how when you get an Instagram verified badge it makes your business and your profile appear more authentic. From that authenticity springs many other benefits. When users see that little blue badge, they instantly assume that your brand is popular. Why? Because they know that those check marks are usually only given out to accounts with a large following. The Instagram verification badge also tells people that Instagram has deemed your account high profile. More and more people are trusting sites like Instagram to learn information about businesses and that check mark is another way to build trust with your audience.
Tips on how to get the Instagram verification badge
Keep in mind that private accounts cannot apply for a verification badge. Your profile must be public and visible for everyone to follow. The account must include at least one post, a complete bio, and profile picture. It must be registered to a real person or business or other entity and has to be free of any sort of “add me” messages which are a red flag for scammers and illegitimate businesses and influencers. If you are an upstanding business and your products are desirable, there should be no need to troll people for adds. Here are some helpful tips for getting verified on Instagram:
Work to increase your followers and profile engagement
With a high number of followers and lots of profile engagement, you are more likely to get verified. Since the current verification process favors well-known accounts with a large audience, the more people liking and sharing your stuff, the better.
Increase the visibility of your profile by using popular hashtags
Hashtags are a way for Instagram users to engage in a larger conversation about a particular topic. If you are including popular hashtags in your posts, people who are interested in those topics are more likely to see your profile. Be sure not to overload it though! According to Sprout Social, 11 is the ideal number of hashtags to include per post.
Posting high-resolution images
Since Instagram is so visually-oriented, you have to work to get your pictures to stand out. If you’re posting grainy or fuzzy images, just know that there are plenty of profiles out there that use high-resolution images that will blow your pictures out of the water.
Promote your Instagram on other social media platforms
If you have profiles on other platforms like YouTube or Facebook, promote your Instagram page from these sites. That way you can maximize your number of followers on each site.
Research the best times to post on Instagram to increase the chances your content will be seen and engaged with
Chances are on Sunday night you’re sitting on your couch scrolling through Instagram and other social media platforms. Guess what—so is everyone else! Not all hours of the day are created equal in the social media world. Take the time to research the best time to post on Instagram and increase your chances for boosting engagement and gaining followers.
Add a personal touch to your posts
No one wants to follow a robot. Make your brand stand out and be sure to add a personal touch to your posts that is uniquely you. This way you stand a better chance of gaining more followers and getting verified.
Beware of third-party Instagram verified badge services
Like most new Instagram features, this little blue badge has become readily sought after. Before now, Instagram had to extend the offer to individual accounts in order for the account to get verified. The invitation used to only be offered to accounts with extremely large followings; so usually only politicians, celebrities and big brands like Nike or Target received the verified badge for Instagram. This made the badge even more exclusive, and even more sought after.
Instead of waiting around for Instagram to bestow the blue badge upon them, users took to the internet in search of ways to beat the system and get an Instagram verification badge for themselves. Websites began popping up that claimed they could get users verified in exchange for a price. Do a quick Google search and you can easily find them. Tempting taglines like “We’ll Get Your Instagram Verified,” “Get Instagram Verified Check Cheap” and “Get Instagram Verified Badge from $99” are appealing to the user, and let’s be honest, what is $99 to get your business verified and appear more legitimate. While there is no shortage of these kinds of offers, often after a little digging, these sights were revealed as scams by their customers. Again, Instagram took notice. Instead of allowing its users to be subjected to scam after scam, it has made the application process for verification available to all users.
How to submit a request to get a verified badge on Instagram
It’s true! All it takes are a few simple steps:
● From your mobile device, log into the account for which you want a verified badge
● On your profile page, tap the menu icon
● Tap Settings and then Request Verification
● You will need to enter your full name and a picture from a government issued photo ID (a driver’s license or passport)
Submitting a request for verification doesn’t guarantee you will receive the little blue badge, but, it’s a good step toward potentially authenticating your profile. Doing so will go far to legitimize your page, and if you’re a business or up-and-coming model or celebrity, there’s a good chance the badge will increase your popularity.
What happens after you submit a request to get an Instagram verified badge
Instagram has made it clear that it will never ask for money in exchange for a verified badge. So those sites out there that claim to be an Instagram verified badge service aren’t part of Instagram and don’t have the power to sell it to you. Instagram also won’t try to contact you to confirm your verification. If you receive any notifications from a site that appears to be Instagram asking you to do either of those things, don’t reply. They’re likely an online scammer who has contacted you in hopes to gain access to your personal information or steal a couple bucks.
However, Instagram will reach out to you to let you know if your verification request has been approved or not. If you don’t get approved, you are able to submit a new verification request after 30 days.
Ways to get Instagram verification badge taken away
At all times Instagram has the ability to remove its verification badge, so keep this in mind as you go about building your following and engaging with other brands. There are some sure-fire ways to have your verified badge from Instagram removed, like:
● Attempt to advertise your badge, sell your badge, or try to transfer it to a different account
● Try to promote other services by way of your bio section, profile picture, or name display
● Go about trying to buy a verified badge on Instagram from a third party (that means those sites we were talking about!)
Pretty much Instagram is saying in order to get and keep your verified badge for Instagram, you have to go through the motions of applying through Instagram and make sure you’re using it only to prove your profile is authentic.
The consequence of buying your verified badge.
We’ve already talked about the risks of going through a third party to obtain your verified badge for Instagram, and if you’re smart you will avoid it at all costs. It may seem like a good alternative to buying likes or followers, but in reality, if you attempt to buy Instagram verified badges, your account will be shut down.
Buying the verification badge from Instagram Employees
Many social media influencers are doing honest work in promoting their brand and deserve all of their followers and recognition. There are some influencers out there however that are taking shortcuts and attempting to buy Instagram verified badges from actual Instagram employees. It was even reported that these employees were selling the little blue badges for upwards of $15,000. That’s a pretty steep price tag.
Purchasing the verification badge for Instagram is not only dishonest, it ruins the verification process for everyone else. Normally to get an Instagram verification badge, accounts have to prove they’re authentic and have a decent following. That is how they earn their higher status and the blue badges makes these accounts easily recognizable. If users who don’t deserve the verification badge are suddenly getting it, it lessens the legitimacy of those who are worthy. This leads to stricter verification processes and harsher stipulations for those who are in and those who are out.